Writing for Fun (Gilly Beckett)
Our friendly group welcomes new members. Bring along your writing ideas, your diary/journal, your plans for your family history or your short story - and have fun - listening, discussing and encouraging.
Monthly; fourth Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 Eyemouth Community Centre.
On Wednesday 30th October the EB U3A Writers met at the Community Centre, and chatted, and did some writing too!
Thinking about structure, plot – the sequence of events and getting your reader wanting to know more from your very first line. With this in mind, our first writing prompt – ‘You’re leaving your favourite restaurant, when a stranger taps you on the shoulder…’ brought out some intriguing ideas. From an edgy encounter with a waiter who only wanted to return the owner’s cap; a nervous request for a celebrity ‘selfie’; the key to a station lock-up that left us quivering to know what it contained; then hearing the gruff voice, feeling the barrel of a gun, being forced to drive a car, to where - what does he want? And a carefree ‘Limoncello’ evening turns into a nightmarish, murderous situation, horror on Hide Hill!
Then we thought about understanding ‘showing’ and ‘telling’; making your writing vivid and strong by showing what’s happening and keeping telling to a minimum.
The exciting part of our session is reading out our ‘homework’ base around building atmosphere into your writing.
People have habits: habits can convey the wrong impression. Mark Twain said : Habits cannot be thrown out of the upstairs window; they have to be coaxed down the stairs one step at a time.
Gestures, facial expressions, vocal clues. These tell the story about a person's feelings. More communication is conveyed through the eyes than any other part of the body. Leonardo da Vinci – ‘the eyes are 'the mirror to the soul’. We need to see identifiable emotions.
Jeni takes us inside the dental surgery waiting room, surrounded by unmistakable signs of tension; but our protagonist is just waiting for her husband, the dental surgeon.
Conflicting footwear and clothing, conflicting conversation between two diverse characters in the car workshop. Jennie tells the story in the second person, a plucky choice of POV.
‘Can you guess who she is yet?’ An intriguing conundrum; the Civil War is the clue – Scarlet O’Hara - with some lively descriptive writing from Susan.
Mannerisms, a well-chosen title showcasing Barbara’s gift for observation. We hear about Ethel’s somewhat negative view on life in general and catch a glimpse of long-suffering Wilf.
‘Watching him sitting there…’ we are at one with the doctor assessing his patient’s demeanour, Does the patient think he knows best? Does he really want an answer? Over to Andrew.
It’s Christmas, she’s lost, fearful, alone. When she finds her home it is not her mother ushering her in, but her daughter overcome with relief. Christie’s touching story reveals the poignant confusion of dementia.
We race with ‘David’, through the night-time hospital, feel the urgency as he dashes up too many stairs. We join the doctor’s concern that changes to relief when we realise that ‘David’ is a new father. A moving account by Graeme.
HOMEWORK for our next session on 27th November -
The old and deserted house was about to be torn down. You were allowed to explore it and keep anything you wanted. What did you see? What did you keep? Story length - maximum about two A4 sheets